UPDATE 5-China rescues nine miners after 14 days trapped underground - CCTV

24 Jan 2021 / 15:23 H.

    * Interactive graphic of mine rescue: (Adds two more miners rescued)

    By Dominique Patton

    BEIJING, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Chinese rescuers pulled nine gold miners to safety on Sunday, 14 days after they were trapped by an underground explosion, state broadcaster CCTV reported, with at least two others still believed to be alive in the mine.

    Footage showed the first miner to be rescued, a black blindfold across his eyes, being lifted out of a mine shaft in the morning.

    The miner was extremely weak, CCTV said on its Weibo site. Rescue workers wrapped the barely responsive man in a blanket before taking him to hospital by ambulance.

    Later, another three miners, including one who was injured, were brought out from a different section of the mine where a group of 10 had been in touch with rescue workers for several days. Three more from the same section followed in the early afternoon, and two more were rescued shortly after.

    Two miners were shown walking, supported by rescue workers, wearing black cloth over their eyes.

    Twenty-two workers were trapped about 600 metres (2,000 feet) underground in the Hushan mine by the Jan. 10 blast in Qixia, a major gold-producing region under the administration of Yantai in coastal Shandong province.

    One miner has died.

    Officials said on Thursday it could take another two weeks to clear "severe blockages" before they could drill shafts to reach a group of 10 men who had been receiving supplies of food from the rescue team.

    State media said earlier however that the more than 600 rescuers on site were hoping to reach the 10 men in the mine's fifth section on Sunday.

    The men were said to be in good physical condition and had been receiving normal food since Saturday, after several days of living off nutrient solutions, according to Xinhua.

    (Reporting by Dominique Patton; Editing by Tom Hogue, Robert Birsel and Wiliam Mallard)

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